LFrance is counting on its Kylian Mbappé rocket to end its season with a victory against Croatia on Monday (8:45 p.m.) in Saint-Denis, finally taking off in the League of Nations and alleviating the doubts that cross it five months before the Coupe du world (November 21-December 18).
After a home defeat against Denmark (1-2) and two draws in Split and Vienna against Austria (1-1), the Blues need points and confidence for their fourth meeting in eleven days, the last of a copious gathering in June, before the holidays. Fatigue, injuries, the need to have the youngest play or the lack of realism have, in turn, been put forward to explain the poor performance of the course. So that these hazards do not pass for excuses, the men of Didier Deschamps must refuel in a sold-out Stade de France.
A rank unworthy of an outgoing world champion
Any other result would confirm their last place in Group 1 of League A, a rank unworthy of an outgoing world champion and which poses the threat of relegation to the second division (League B). For the first position, synonymous with accession to the “Final 4”, they no longer have their destiny in hand. The only team without success in this pool, France especially wants to be reassured from the perspective of Qatar: after Croatia, there will only be two outings left, in September, before the defending champions enter the scene in Doha on 22 November, against Australia or Peru. “We are still alive but now we have to win the next three matches.notes the goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris, spared for the benefit of Mike Maignan and who will leave his armband to Presnel Kimpembe. “We know we shouldn’t be in this place. It’s an obligation to win on Monday, we’re all aware of that.”said the latter.
Between swings in concentration and defensive errors, the Blues have given too much to their opponents this season, with only four “clean sheets” (no goals conceded) in twelve games. But they have also, in recent days, sinned in the finish, like Kingsley Coman and Moussa Diaby, twirling but clumsy wingers.
“Now we have to go and win the next three matches” Hugo Lloris, goalkeeper and captain
Absent on Croatian ground on Monday, Mbappé sparkled on Friday on the Austrian lawn for his return to play in the 63rd minute. His presence from the kick-off would undoubtedly change a lot of things for offensive efficiency. “Although he still has a feeling (at the left knee) which isn’t ideal, he’s a lot less embarrassed now.”said Deschamps on Sunday.
On the kneecaps and saved, Karim Benzema could give way to Christopher Nkunku, author of two assists in June. The coach will also have to make a choice concerning Antoine Griezmann, ghostly. “It’s just a little bit of (lack of) success. All the great players know that, it will come back, that’s for sure. He’s going to score at some point.”assured Benzema, who came to the rescue of his partner.
Against the “Vatreni” of Luka Modric, “DD” will also have to answer tactical questions, after having twice abandoned his privileged scheme of three central defenders, in favor of the 4-4-2 of the 2018 World Cup. ” I have not changed my mind “he hammers, enjoying being “less predictable for the adversary”.
His decision may depend on the outfield players at his disposal. They were only thirteen to take part in the final training session, Sunday, the day after the departure of N’Golo Kanté, injured in a knee, and Lucas Hernandez, who went to join his companion on the point of give birth.
MONDAY, JUNE 13, 8:45 P.M., STADE DE FRANCE IN SAINT-DENIS
: Maignan – Koundé, Konaté, Kimpembe (cap.) – Clauss, Guendouzi, Rabiot, Digne – Nkunku – Benzema or Ben Yedder, Mbappé.
: Livakovic – Stanisic, Sutalo, Caleta-Car, Sosa – Modric (cap.), Brozovic, Kovacic – Majer, Budimir, Brekalo.
: Mr. Grinfeeld (Isr).
Australia or Peru with France in Qatar?
The Australians and the Peruvians compete in the host country of the World Cup-2022, this Monday, for a place in group D along with the French, the Danes and the Tunisians. The kick-off of this intercontinental play-off, the penultimate qualifying match for the planetary tournament, will be given at 9 p.m. local time (8 p.m. in Paris) in the air-conditioned air of the Ahmad ben Ali stadium in Al-Rayyan (west of Doha). ), which will host seven meetings between November and December.
Peru, 22nd in the FIFA rankings and 5th in the South American qualifiers, is aiming for a sixth participation in the World Cup, the second in a row after 2018 and thirty-six years of absence. Australia, 42nd nation and 3rd in its qualifying group in the Asia zone, kept its hopes of playing a sixth World Cup alive by beating the United Arab Emirates (2-1), last week, in the pre-dam.